Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
This time... Its the last time... by Chrisofedf This time... Its the last time... by Chrisofedf
On it's maiden flight the crew of the new atomic powered airliner "Fireflash". find a bomb in their landing gear set to explode when their aircraft touches down. Whats worse, In a few hours the radiation shielding on the reactor is failing, giving the passengers and crew just a few hours before fatal exposure.

All attempts to diffuse the bomb fail and all seems lost. Until a mysterious rescue organisation appears claiming they have a way to land the plane safely. The plan is crazy, to land Fireflash on specially modified elevator cars  which will replace the landing gear.

The first attempt ends in disaster, as the safety margin on the reactor expires Fireflash goes in for the final approach, this time, it's the last time...


When asked my favourite TV show, a lot of people are surprised when I respond that it's in fact a 49 year old puppet series. Surely someone my age should be more into Game of Thrones or breaking bad or something.

 But yes it is in fact Thunderbirds, and why? Well it's scenes like this which you simply get nowhere else.

The finale to the first episode of Thunderbirds is quite simply one of the most heart pounding action scenes ever made and while the show maintains a high standard, they simply never bettered it. The image of the completely outclassed Elevator cars disintegrating under Fireflash's immense weight will be etched in my brain forever.

I'm pretty excited about the new Thunderbirds series on the horizon. As usual with these things i've seen quite a lot of backlash about it amongst the fanbase (I literally watched a whole forum go into meltdown over the fact TB1 now has windows and a Pitot Tube (I thought it looked pretty cool)). There been a lot of talk about what people want to see in the show and for me its this.

High stakes and demented action scenes you simply wouldn't get anywhere else.

For those who would have rather seen Gerry Anderson retake Thunderbirds himself, on the horizon Is the book series Gemini Force 1. From interviews and outlines that i've seen of what Gerry wanted to do with the series, i'd always got the feeling he wanted to wipe the slate clean and start again, retaining just the core concept. This appears to be what GF1 seems to be, a completely new take on the same idea and i'm very excited. www.gerryanderson.co.uk/gerry-…

Made in Photoshop
Vue 10
Simply 3d
Google Sketchup

"Jolly good show old boy!"
"And what a show!"
Add a Comment:
 

The Artist has requested Critique on this Artwork

Please sign up or login to post a critique.

:iconkanyiko:
kanyiko Featured By Owner Edited May 11, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I actually did a bit of maths recently, as I tried to figure out - would the Fireflash rescue really take place as it did in the show?  Because that London Airport runway seems awfully long for everything to play out as it does...

So I looked at the rescue as it plays out, and tried going through it, assuming everything took place in "real time" as shown in the original episode:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=yR4nKd…

Then I transscribed everything as it took place, starting out with the "one mile from treshold" broadcast:

0:00 - "1 mi from treshold"
0:04 - ECs start tracking
0:11 - 500 yds from treshold @ 120 kts (457.2 m)
0:15 - "increase to 105 kts"
0:35 - Fireflash approaches ECs, slows to 105
0:38 - Fireflash over pads
0:40 - Fireflash equals ECs speed
0:50 - "cut engines"
0:52 - RCE 2 contact
0:53 - MCE 1 contact
0:55 - "lift port wing"
1:03 - RCE 4 contact
1:07 - reverse thrust
1:13 - "applying brakes"
1:36 - "maximum brakes"
1:59 - nose on ground
2:18 - full stop

So, my calculations are as follows:

The main marker in the entire rescue is the remark that  Fireflash is approaching at 120 kts, when it is some 500 yards from the treshold.  Calculating that it takes Fireflash 24 seconds from the 500 yards marker to the point that it approaches the Elevator Cars, one can calculate this equals a distance of approximately 3360 ft (1120 yds) past the treshold.  It then slows down from 120 kts to 105 kts in the space of 5 seconds, by which time it is approx. 4120 ft (1370 yds) past the treshold.  About 10 seconds later, Fireflash cuts its engines and contacts two of the three Elevator Cars - by that time, at a constant speed of 105 kts, it would be about 5900 ft (1960 yds) past the treshold.  The minor issue with Remote Controlled Elevator 4 means, that another 17 seconds elapse before Fireflash manages to fire its reverse thrust - at this point, it is 8910 ft (2970 yds) past the treshold.  The next 71 seconds are spent on trying to bring her to a stop.

Now, the minimum distance Fireflash requires to come to a halt from that point onwards, if one calculates her speed to decrease at a continuous rate from 105 kts to 0 kts, would be about 6300 ft (2100 yds).  This would make for a minimum stopping distance of 15210 ft (5070 yds)

Calculating the maximum distance would be a little more complicated.  Assuming that a safe stopping distance in turn assumed that the issue with the RCE 4 did not arise, and Fireflash rested atop the three cars at 0:54 into the rescue (6600 ft/2200 yds past treshold), at which point she could be safely brought to a stop on reverse thrust and normal brakes only within 1000 ft of the runway end,... I'm going to skip the boring part, but the maximum (and realistic) stopping distance I calculate out of it would be an approximate stopping distance of 7270 ft (2425 yds), making for a total distance of 16180 ft (5393 yds, or 4931 meters).

Now, comparing this to the real-life Heathrow nowadays: it's longest runway is 12800 ft long; if you include the run-off areas on either side of the runway, it is 13250 ft long - which falls short from even my shortest estimate.  However, it must be kept in mind that in the decade preceding the original Thunderbirds series, London Airport (as Heathrow was referred to at the time) saw its runways grow from 9300~9575 ft in the propliner era to 11000 ft in the early jetliner era; and further expansions were envisaged at the time, so it wasn't unreasonable at the time to think that the airports of 100 years in the future would have much longer runways, as it was envisaged that by this time supersonic (and nuclear-powered) airliners would be commonplace. (In fact, at the time there existed at least one civilian airport with a 15000 ft runway - nowadays, some 20 airports worldwide have runways of 15000 ft length or more, the longest of which being the 18000 ft at Qamdo Bamda airport in Tibet.)

So assuming that the London (Heathrow) Airport of 2065 would have had 16000 ft runways with a 300 to 500 ft run-off on either side - it would have been a damned close thing indeed, but... Jolly good show, old boy!
Reply
:iconchrisofedf:
Chrisofedf Featured By Owner May 19, 2015  Professional Filmographer
This is really cool, I remember somebody did something similar while calculating the length of a runway in one of the Fast and furious movies, it ended up being like 11 miles long. :)
Reply
:iconkanyiko:
kanyiko Featured By Owner May 19, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
The only real problem which I found with the calculation, was the unusually low approach/landing speed for Fireflash.  An approach/landing speed of 120/105 kts is more in the ranges of what 1950s-era propliner, or even some of the early jetliner aircraft would have had - a supersonic aircraft such as Concorde, however, had a typical landing speed of 160 kts.
However, it has to be noted that the high landing speed required by Concorde is in part due to its delta wing - given that FireFlash is a much more 'modern' aircraft in wing configuration (featuring both a long wing and canards, as well as - I guess - additional lift provided by its tailplane configuration), I assume her landing speed would be comparably lower - even more so during her emergency landing where she is also able to use her wing outer panels for additional lift, this due to her not deploying her landing gear... 

Comparable data (approach speed)
Lockheed L-1049G Super Constellation (1953 - propliner) - 99kts
Douglas DC-7C Seven Seas (1956 - propliner) - 125 kts
Boeing 707 (1957 - jetliner) - 128 kts
Boeing 747 (1969 - jetliner) - 144 kts
Aérospatiale-BAC Concorde (1969 - SST jetliner) - 160 kts
Boeing 777 (1994 - jetliner) - 136 kts
Airbus A380 (2005 - jetliner) - 130 kts
Reply
:iconkoudelkaw:
KoudelkaW Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2015
Awesome work :D

I love this episode as well, especially when Virgil's car veered off and crashed. That wasn't even meant to happen, but it did and they decided it was pretty cool, so they added it in.
Reply
:iconchrisofedf:
Chrisofedf Featured By Owner May 5, 2015  Professional Filmographer
Thanks. :)
Reply
:iconbillguiroff:
billguiroff Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2015
Greetings! I regret I am having connection problems which prevent me from seeing anything but the thumbnails, but from what I have been able to call up you are both a dedicated fan of the series, well-researched technically and a superb artist!

I watched 'Thunderbirds's' very first broadcast in my area on KTTV around, I think, 1966, with the one about the Red Arrow fighter the Hood was sabotaging. Frustratingly, I missed the second half, aired the following week, which was for some reason never again in my area, and I had to wait almost 40 years for the VHS edition to find out what happened!

KTTV tended to cookie-cutter shows out of sequence, so I saw 'Trapped in the Sky' later on, and it was years until I was old enough to understand about pilots I still loved the show and watched it whenever I could, even skipping news reports on the Sylmar Quake of 1971 when I spotted Thunderbird 1 descending to its launch pad. I now have the whole series on DVD, along with 'Stingray,' 'Supercar', 'Fireball XL-5', Joe 90, 'Secret Agent', 'Captain Scarlet', 'UFO,' 'Space 1999', 'Space Precinct', and even 'Terrahawks'. 'Fireball XL-5' and 'Thunderbirds' to this day remain two of my all-time favorites.

A few years back, when 'Thunderbirds' first came out on VHS,  a friend at work borrowed 'Trapped in the Sky' to show his kids. Later he told me they were rather blasé at first, asking what was so big about an old puppet show?

Five minutes later they were glued to their seats, stayed that way through the end.

At the time it was around 30-plus years later, and the show still hasn't lost its magic!
Reply
:iconchrisofedf:
Chrisofedf Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2015  Professional Filmographer
Glad you like the thumbnails, hope you get to see the full things some day. :) Thunderbirds, will always be awsome :)
Reply
:iconkevinw59:
kevinw59 Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
thank u this is so good 
Reply
:iconchrisofedf:
Chrisofedf Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2014  Professional Filmographer
Thanks :D
Reply
:iconjanderson6108:
janderson6108 Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2014
Hi Chris,

One of my favourite bits in Thunderbirds is Thunderbird 2's crash landing on Tracy Island in the episode 'Terror In New York'. Thank you for your artwork. I think your drawings are very well done and really show how classy these spacecraft and vehicle designs are/were.
Reply
:iconchrisofedf:
Chrisofedf Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2014  Professional Filmographer
Thanks :) Ive always loved the way, when TB2 hits the grounds it almost pulls itself back up again, always thought that would make a cool image sometime.
Reply
:iconraax-theicewarrior:
Raax-theIceWarrior Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2014
Another great CG rendering of a Thunderbirds moment. These always look so dynamic. These just capture the moment so well
Reply
:iconchrisofedf:
Chrisofedf Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2014  Professional Filmographer
Cheers :)
Reply
:icondukedexter:
DukeDexter Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2014
Great stuff as usual!  Great suggestion of movement & the diagonals give it a sense of danger
Reply
:iconchrisofedf:
Chrisofedf Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014  Professional Filmographer
Thanks :)
Reply
:iconshojiamasawa:
ShojiAmasawa Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2013  Professional General Artist
The energy and the urgency―second to none! This will always be one of my favourite moments in TV history.
Reply
:iconchrisofedf:
Chrisofedf Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Cheers :)
Reply
:iconarenafighter:
arenafighter Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2013
Superb Work,Chris! This Captures the Feeling of Trapped in the Sky Perfectly! Keep up the Superb Work!
Reply
:iconchrisofedf:
Chrisofedf Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Thanks :)
Reply
:iconarenafighter:
arenafighter Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2013
No Problem. ever thought of Doing the RTL2 from the Thunderbirds Episode the Cham Cham?
Reply
:iconchrisofedf:
Chrisofedf Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2013  Professional Filmographer
It;s on the to do list when I get a chance :)
Reply
:iconarenafighter:
arenafighter Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2013
Cool!
Reply
:icondburch01:
dburch01 Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
"Hold tight Fireflash, applying maximum brakes!!"

This...wow, this looks damn right incredible, REALLY nice work, I must applaud you for this fantastic piece of work
Reply
:iconchrisofedf:
Chrisofedf Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Thanks :) 
Reply
:icondburch01:
dburch01 Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
No problem, my friend :)
Reply
Add a Comment:
 
×




Details

Submitted on
December 8, 2013
Image Size
1.9 MB
Resolution
3703×1500
Link
Thumb
Embed

Stats

Views
2,625
Favourites
61 (who?)
Comments
25
Downloads
86
×